tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 31, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EDT
you sold me this is possible. >> i'm not making any guarantees. >> you have laid out a perfectly conceivable scenario. i couldn't have done that. i didn't see that deal. now i do. >> okay. all right. >> thank you for joining us. >> thank you, lawrence. >> chris matthews is up next. out of this world. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in this great historic city of philadelphia where we learned to first gather around and build a country. let me start tonight with that. the first requirement of every political leader is to know what country he's living in. it helps, too, to know what time you're living in. ted cruz and the advancing right of the republican party speak of a place where people refuse to
compromise to cut the national debt. where people like shutdowns as a political tactic. where people don't believe in background checks for gun buyers. you might want to check your gps, your map, your country. it may be cuckoo land, but it sure isn't the united states of america in october of 2013. republicans in this country insist on getting -- they think it's nutty not to check out who buys guns in this country. who does the hard core right mean when they speak so casually of the american people. both my guests are msnbc political analysts. both are americans. the more ted cruz and his cohorts man the battlements, the more they are called out. ridgell says many of his gop colleagues in congress including ted cruz don't live in political reality. it was the latest salvo from the non-crazies in the party. yesterday was written the republican governor of ohio john
kasich took on republicans and said i'm concerned that there seems to be a war on the poor, that if you're poor somehow you're shiftless and lazy. let me go to this whole question of misapprehension of who the american people are but not even knowing who their own party is on key issues of gun rights and fiscal policy and shutdowns. their party doesn't think like
the hard right does. >> the virginia congressman that you mentioned and the ohio governor that you mentioned live in the reality of today. in virginia it's quite likely that the tea party republican is going to lose to a democrat that many thought was unelectable. in ohio there are pockets of poverty and misery that john kasich that used to be a doctrineaire republican, it has put him in the traditional mainstream of ohio republicans who if anything are among the most practical. there's a reason why so many republicans were elected to the presidency from ohio. they understand the gritty reality of that state. kasich does.
>> you know, also, what's really interesting -- >> i want you to answer a question though. when they say we the american people, who are he this talking about? are they only talking about people of a certain evangelical background? of a certain region? who are they talking about when they confidently say we the american people as if they don't mean blacks from the big cities. they don't mean people of other religions besides christianity, who are they talking about? let's nail it? >> they mean people they see at meetings? how do they get to be we americans? >> they're free to say whatever delusional thing they want to say. but you know, talking about practical politics here, what i was going to say, too, they both live, not just in the land of
political reality, but in the land where barack obama wins. he won the district in virginia where the congressman comes from. and they won the state of ohio. so they know that the american politics are diverse, ideologically, policy wise, generational. so they know, to be successful politicians have to operate within those confines, the people, ted cruz and others are self-selecting, self-segregating and coming up with this success that only relies on people who think like they do. >> howard, i'm not going to quit on this point. i like immigrants, especially people who come here legally and play by the rules. he did that.
his father's from cuba. he just got here from canada. and yet he gets to dictate to everybody on the north, everybody's a minority. the blacks who were here for 400 years, at least a lot of them. are they americans? how do you get to dictate this stuff to america to your convenience. it's awesome. it's an awesome arrogance to talk like this, we americans. >> you don't get to dictate it, chris. and i think it's up to people within the republican party as well as democrats, as well as president obama to counter that notion. that the whole point of this country is, is its welcoming nature. controversial, yes, with conflict, yes. every group that's here wishes that the one after them wouldn't follow, but that's been going on for hundreds of years. and people have to stand up and say no, you do not, you, to the tea party, just because you're
waving the don't tread on me flag, just because you're acclaiming a sort of exclusive control over an understanding of the roots of the country, that's not the case. that's not the case. this is a very -- >> i like the flag because it refers to other countries treading on us. it's a total misuse of the flag. >> it's up to others in the political arena to challenge them on that and to counter that very arrogance that you're talking about. >> you know, the history of america is about fighting over the definition of america. you can go back to 1800 when jefferson and adams were at each other's throats fighting over what type of country this would be and what type of americans we would be. and throughout the civil rights period, throughout protesting vietnam, mccarthyism, there's always been this fight over what's a real american.
and sometimes it's very coded. sometimes it's not too coded in racial or religious terms. so the fact that they're advancing their very narrow view of this is nothing new. and it seems a little retro, a little tired and we'll see to what degree other americans have to fight to not let them suck side. it may be that they're so marginalized that this fight is a last gasp, not a last hurrah. >> it seems a bit bizarre that the guy who caught the night train from canada decides who's in and who's out. right wing blogger took offense and said like much of the republican leadership national review wants to win majorities before unleashing hell, but history shows us repeatedly that they don't unleash hell once they have the majority. they become well-fed denizens of power using it to reward friends and influence people. what do they want to do if
they're not running for office? is the hard right simply a clamoring bunch of right-wingers. here's a guy saying we don't want to hold office. we just want to attack those who hold office. >> if people on the right think the national review is the problem they have a big problem. they are hard and fast conservative. but this is really, i think from eric erickson's point of view and others a form of political nihilism. they want to destroy and tear down. and anybody who sees it differently is not just wrong, they are the enemy. they are the rot within. they must be defeated. they're rinos, whatever you want to call them. the civil war, not just within the republican party but within the conservative crew, whatever you want to call it, is not getting any better.
it's getting more exacerbated as people feel more unburdened and able to attack the enemies. >> chris, there's a generational war going on here. the national review was started by william f. buckley and has its roots in the 1950s and early 1960s when i think even when william f. buckley said he wanted to shout, he didn't want to give up on the governmental process. he didn't want to give up in the ability of the american government to take wildly die verge interviews, to take very
harsh arguments and somehow make progress from them. the difference between what bill buckley was doing with the national review a generation or two and what some of the websites on the right are doing now is that the current crop, and i would put ted cruz in that category and some of the younger tea party people in that category is that they fundamentally don't believe in this system that the founders put together to be able to settle the arguments that they are fighting. so the irony is they're the ones saying that they're americans and the others aren't, whether it's these people who seem to have deep, deep, deep doubts, if not total fear of the very political system that the founders created. >> yeah. and the great comment, george f. will who said the american people are conservative. they wish to conserve the new deal. they like social security. they like medicare. they may have questions, and they're always legitimate about the growing role of government, but so far they've said okay. any way, thank you. and coming up next, ted cruz is accusing president obama of abusing the power of his office and acting in an unconstitutional manner.
also the smearing of the affordable care act continues. plus rand paul is promising to hold up the nomination of janet yellen. a little strange on that one, don't you think? and let me finish with the men who built this country right here in my hometown of philadelphia. that's where i'm at. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. a brand new poll has bad
a brand new poll has bad news for pretty much everyone in washington. the republican party has dropped do an all time low of its own. only 22% have a favorable impression of the party versus 53% who view it unfavorably. and the feeling is stronger in republican districts. welcome back to "hardball."
welcome back to "hardball." the republican party is on a bit of a losing streak, don't you think? they tried to defeat president obama in 2008. lost that baby. tried to get in in 2012, lost again. they tried to proclaim the affordable care act unconstitutional. that didn't work. they nearly defaulted on the country's debts. but they lost that one too. david denby wrote cruz resembles one of those war chariots with blades flashing from the wheels. when things go wrong, he only sharpens the blades. he seeks the presidency, of course and he appears to be doing it by sowing as much confusion and disorder as possible.
in an interview he did with abc with fusion network -- i think that's spanish translation. cruz said that president obama is abusing his power. >> you think president obama has been abusing his power? >> i think he has absolutely been abusing his power. and when you have a president that says regardless of whether congress acts, i'm going to force my agenda on the american people, that's wrong. >> alex and kathleen thank you for joining us. these remarks are powerful. i'm wondering what we can point to or he has pointed to that suggests obama who was able to pass review with the supreme court for his most important bit of legislation has abused his power. where is the abuse apparent to mr. cruz? >> that's that new yorker piece
that you pointed out, chris, as a great piece of writing. and one of the comparisons that david denby makes is that obama care is his communism. it is the thing that animates everything he says. i think in some way because the president is trying to help the poor, the disenfranchised, ted cruz has flipped that and made it somehow a repression of democracy. the fact that the president was willing to use whatever levers he could to reopen the government and prevent financial catastrophe and ted cruz saw that as an adulteration of executive power. >> i think the president's been very careful, maybe because he's first african-american president. i think he's been very much
tiptoeing around the things you can do around the 14th amendment. i think he's put out statements through jay carney that he would never go that far. that he's been very careful in walking the line that has been walked before in terms of presidential power and opportunities and options. >> well, that may be the case. but the government, in general, the administration and the directives that come down from, by tone or other avenues has been to expand government powers and to take, take some leeway here and there with certain, like for example the irs investigations of tea party people. i mean, i think we are all aware that there's more government overreach than we've experienced before in our personal lives. and i think that's what appeals
to ted cruz's, to his constituents. now some of what he -- >> yes, but those people work at -- but kathleen, we're talking about the president here. did he appoint those people at irs or did w? >> apparently the president has nothing to do with anything. >> no. >> he pleads ignorance on everything that comes along in the news these days. >> wasn't that a holdover person? you pointed the case of irs. so i have to go at you on this. wasn't the irs, wasn't that a w appointment? >> yes, but to the same extent, in any case, to the -- i'm playing devil's advocate. i'm defending ted cruz by the way. >> thanks for that definition of your role. >> but we blamed, everybody was quite willing to blame president bush for anything that took place anywhere in the world while he was president. so i think everyone, but the tone and the sense of what is
possible comes from leadership and so if people feel like they can go ahead and, you know, wire tap telephones or investigate certain people who are ideologically opposed, then there's a sense that things are not going the way they should. >> can i interject here? i think one of the things that distinguishes, if you can use that word, ted cruz from other folks who may have a healthy skepticism of government overreach is that cruz has a strategy of universal aggression. he's not just attacking president obama. he came out of the government shutdown and blamed senate republicans. people in his own party. ted cruz is not looking to govern. he is looking to tear asunder and kneecap those who are trying to govern. and he certainly has said some outrageous things about the president of the united states. this is someone who voted against confirming the secretary of defense, the secretary of treasury, the secretary of state, who voted against the
farm bill and has turned around and manipulated those votes and said the president is abusing his power. it's shocking. >> i think it's important to note that i went back and read cruz's senior thesis at princeton. he has been concerned about the role of the president way back to his college years. i'm completely anti-castro. so i'm with him 100% on castro. i just don't think castro has anything to do with president obama. >> i grew up in cuba under a strong military oppressive dictatorship. i think the most ominous words i have heard were the last when
our president said if congress does not act, i will act unilaterally. not much different than that or the trend that i left behind in cuba, governing by decree, by executive order, just like fidel castro. >> and by the way, the last two state of the union addresses he was referring to, he was talking about steps of the federal government to combat climate change. he didn't say he was, he said he was going to use his authority to take action. senator cruz, here's hayes response to the charge that his father was off base and saying that castro and obama are similar in any regard.
>> is president obama a dictator? >> the point that he made -- obviously there are enormous differences. >> we have a democracy, political party. >> absolutely. but his point was, he was focussing on a statement president obama made at the state of the union where he said if congress doesn't act to enforce his agenda, that he will do it on his own. >> go ahead. >> that's not fair. you obviously don't read miochol -- my column. it's absurd. i've been to cuba. we're not like cuba. >> that's what i think. i'm sorry. i think there's a certain -- >> if you would stop talking, i would say something. i'm sorry. that was rude of me. it's very difficult to say my
father's a complete off the walnut job. but the cruz people are allowing the father to talk and maybe they're using him a little more than they should. it's very problematic for republicans. and this is the key point that i would like to make is that ted cruz is obviously a smart guy. he can talk about these legal issues in ways that none of us can. is he the right voice for the republican party? the answer is no. i don't want to insult the people who elected ted cruz and do think that he's speaking for them. but bottom line, he's speaking for home self. and he's advancing his own candidacy. >> it seems to me that the son here has a very, almost zealous attitude against federal power.
it's in his writings as a student. it's still there. he's big on the tenth amendment, fine. but there's a zealotry that he's got. forget his father for a minute. i think he's got it about obama and any president really. >> and i think he's found a moment in time when there's a sector that feels isolated, that is economically repressed as much at republican base is. that moment in ted cruz's zealousness. i talked to congressional reporters, and they say the gop is still under the sway of the tea party. and you talk about people looking at 2016 and they say ted cruz is a viable nominee. so i think the jury is still out, and that's an optimistic message. >> i wouldn't judge the character of the candidacy in 2016 by what we see in iowa.
i did meet with speaker boehner yesterday for a good while. and in his sense of things, people in the house and the tea party learned a lesson this time. and maybe they have matured a little bit by the process, not all, but enough to give him some optimism about what happens next. >> i think we're going to get a real test of ted cruz's input and power in the republican party because now i believe -- i didn't before -- i believe he's running. we'll get to see how strong he is. thank you. we'll be right back after this.
it's a long overdue honor. it featured a concert and speeches by mitch mcconnell and john kerry. here is kerry talking about one of his famous witticisms. >> it was churchill who encountered a scold from his own party who exclaimed, are you drunk, you are very, very drunk. and winston without missing a beat looked back and said you, you are ugly, you are very ugly. you are very, very ugly. and what's more, tomorrow i shall be sober. well, up next, the many republican smears of the
he said it's the most dangerous piece of legislation in the history of the united states. >> yes, i think so. >> let's repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children. kills senior citizens. let's not do that. >> it's killing health benefits, shattering the economy all across the country in all 50 states. >> of course there are death panels. that's just one aspect of this atrocious unaffordable, cumbersome, evil policy of obama's, and that is obama care. >> you know, obama care is really, i think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. and in a way it is slavery, in a way. >> sure. anyway, welcome back to "hardball." as you saw in that clip, some of
the right have been so blind by their hatred. cruz said it's become like sugar, it's become addictive. they're frayed of it be popular. they also determined that the health care plan won't bankrupt people when they get sick. i want to again with this. it's hard to keep track of all the distortions out there. but let's take a look at some of the most overrepeated charges against the affordable care act. the first is that you'll lose your current coverage. they won't be able to piddle those junk plans that they had before.
or they cap your benefits at incredibly low level, and those are gone. those weren't good policies any way. and the second one is that the health care site is totally broken. that's not true. it will be fixed by november. then it's that the entire law needs to be replaced. the republicans have yet to offer any alternative. 40 plus votes to repeal the law is not a viable alternative. we heard ted cruz argue that it will bankrupt america. they say that the law will actually reduce the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. then there's this little sugar blum, that it will wreck the economy. that's a hard one to make when the stock market hit an all-time high. thank you congressman. i'm beginning to fall in love with everybody in new jersey. tell me about the tenor of the discussion today.
>> it was all scare tactics and the gop trying to sabotage the affordable care act. the first thing was this idea that you mentioned at first about the insurance companies taking away your plan. this is private insurance in a competitive market. so the insurers that are canceling these individual policies are doing so because they are not going to be able to sell them. if you have a skeletal plan that has very few benefits and cost a lot and somebody else is on the exchange that has better benefits and costs less, you're not going to be able to sell your insurance. so they're notifying people that they're not selling the lousy insurance at a high price. people say i want to keep my
plan. why in the world would you want to keep a lousy plan that's going to cost you more. ant insurance companies are saying we can't sell that anymore. nobody's going to buy that lousy plan. that's why we're canceling it and making you go to a different one that costs less. it's capitalism at its best. >> help us out here. it seems to me that a person that comes out and says i'm really happy with my health plan, it's a catastrophic plan. it didn't really cover much, but the person has been healthy. and they say my insurance has been good to me. in other words, you've been lucky. if they hadn't been lucky, they wouldn't say it was a good plan, would they? by definition, the people saying they love their cheap plan have been fortunate and very healthy the last few years.
>> that's true. people really don't know what's in their health insurance plan as long as they're healthy. the people who know everything about their health insurance plan are people who have gotten really sick and needed a lot of care. unfortunately, people who have bought on the individual market up until now have oftentimes, without realizing it, bought really terrible plans and only found out that was the case when it was too late. >> well said. well president obama hit back at the criticism today. let's listen to the president. >> for the fewer than 5% of americans who buy insurance on your own,ly be getting a better deal. so anyone peddling the notion that insurers are canceling
people's plan without mentioning that almost all the insurers are encouraging people to join better plans with the same carrier with stronger protection, others will be able to get protection with new carriers through the marketplace and that many will get new help to pay for these plans and make them cheaper. if you leave that stuff out, you're being grossly misleading to say the least. >> congressman, when winter comes, you like to have a heater. when your heater breaks you get it fixed. you don't say you don't like heaters. they're offering a program called no heaters, and winter's coming. it seems they get away with crazy talk. they haven't had, nixon was pretty much known for pushing an employer mandate. they don't think about how many, they don't walk up to the constituents and say -- and they
don't have any plan at all. >> i think a lot of them, if they're the tea party right wing just don't believe the government should assist or help in any way with your health insurance. and that's an ideological point of view which i don't share and i don't think most americans share. that's one group. but the group that are scaring people and giving the impression that somehow you shouldn't participate in this program, you know, they're not being fair, because they don't have an alternative. and, again, i can't stress enough, you know, this is private insurance in a competitive market. the federal government, you know, can't force an insurance company to sell a lousy plan that nobody's going to buy. that's why they're canceling these lousy plans. because if they're competitive, if they can't sell it, they can't make any money. it's capitalism at its best. and there's no socialist ideology here.
>> i'm falling in love with new jersey. you guys have been so great. and we'll have you back again ms. metcalfe for this. how we know that rand paul loves wikipedia. he's plagiarizing it. can you get that low? to plagiarize wikipedia? nouncerl be more powerful storms. that's why there's new duracell quantum. only duracell quantum has a hi-density core. and that means more fuel, more power, more performance than the next leading brand. new duracell quantum. trusted everywhere.
a new poll in virginia shows the race for governor down there may be closer than we thought. let's check the "hardball" score board. mcauliffe leads over cuccinelli. and the libertarian in the race at 9. that's a lot closer than yesterday's washington post poll that had mcauliffe up by 12. we'll know more this coming tuesday, election day. polls in virginia close at 7:00 eastern time next tuesday, and "hardball" will be quick with the results and all the exit polls and analysis. join us next tuesday for "hardball" and we'll be right back.
senator rand paul is about to get something into his wheel house, the federal reserve, who he says has too much power, unless he gets a vote on the pet bill that would restrain the feds, had he warns in a letter to senator harry reid, i will object to the unanimous waiver of any rule with respect to the nomination of dr. yellen, with respect to 9. rand paul hopes to ride it straight to the white house. his strange obsession recalls this iconic scene from the movie "dr. strange love." >> i can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, the sub version, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and purify all
of our precious bodily fluids. gentlemen, this is the precious bodily fluids concern of rand paul and his father. i think a lot of people who are normal, who read the newspapers every day and read your columns and think about american politics wonder why a guy like rand paul, and you think of rand here, would be so obsessed with something as exotic as the fed, that is an evil force, when what it does is control the money supply. dana? >> well, not only is he concerned about this precious bodily fluid, but it is passed on by his father. he wrote the book, so now we're down to auditing the feds. but this is something of a holy grail among the libertarians.
they have done this for a long time, in terms of putting a hold on this nomination, lindsey graham already said he would put a hold on all of these nominations until they get benghazi. there are more holds going on from the republicans than a wrestling competition. >> i am not used to this. the guy at the level of rand paul talked about leading some polls in many primary states. and yet he has this interesting -- people might find it bizarre. >> well, what is bizarre, we're institutionalizing the practice of hostage-taking, that is what he is doing here. holding up yellen's appointment. saying if you don't take a vote right away, i'm going to hold up the appointment. actually, she is going to be acting chairman, at least
procedurally. but there is a historical streak, chris, going back at least to andrew jackson, a populist who opposed the fed. the paul family is just the latest. >> suppose we elect somebody like rand paul, who says look, i ran on the gold standard, you have to let me do it. >> even if a guy like rand paul can beat off the likes of a ted cruz in a republican primary, it is not exactly clear how something like that gets to a position of power in a general election. but you know, the whole -- anti-fed movement is collected in all sorts of conspiracy theories. and of course, the majority of the electorate would realize it was the actions of the federal reserve rather than the inaction on capitol hill that actually prevented us from going into a depression. >> this is called plagiarism, my
colleague discovered in his university speech monday, regarding the abortion access, senator rand paul lifted many ideas from the wikipedia. >> rand paul gave a speech to the chamber of commerce and made reference to that 1988 movie, "stand and deliver." the wikipedia describes the main plot in this way, in the area of los angeles, california, in 1982, in an environment that values a quick fix, he is a new teacher at garfield high school. that is wikipedia. here is rand paul. >> in the era of east l.a., in 1982, in an environment that values a quick fix over education and learning, escalonte was a high school teacher.
>> rand paul was reading wikipedia, passing it off as if it is his own words. >> well, three more times in that same speech, rand paul repeated lines that came from the wikipedia entry for "stand and deliver." what do you make from it, guys, that he is relying on somebody, which is a questionable source to start with. >> he must have been relying on the speech, the government shutdown, that has had to import something else. maybe he could find perhaps of a higher quality if he is going to go ahead and plagiarize. >> thank you, do you have a thought? >> you know, social conservatives flock there, i am sure it must have been interesting hearing them listen to literature about -- that satanic hollywood being quoted to them as an example of the
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let me finish tonight with where i'm at tonight, up here with my republican brother, jim, who is having a because party for me. well, this studio i'm in right now is in the old part of phadelphia. you walk along the blocks and are taken back a couple of centuries, it is a good hall, one where places like thomas angel and george washington, built this country.
they were not moral, some of them by our standards, many of them had slaves, many of them had regular property. i don't know if they would chat about the things we do, but i'll say this, they knew how to built a government. they thought about it, wrote books about it. they were professionals, and ate and drank at taverns, no doubt. but they were able to build something. listen to these crazed comparisons to fidel castro. and what i hear is an abuse of politics, choice of words and antagonisms that have no place in the country. the president's words were approved by congress, you don't have to like it, you can't call it an abuse of power, you may not believe in climate change, you are likely to pretend ignorance, but you can't accuse